Lady Macbeth

Before Macbeth had visions of ghosts, now his wife, Lady Macbeth, is having visions and is sleep walking. While sleeping she is doing the action of washing and cleaning her hands from the blood of Duncan’s. She says, “Yet here’s a spot. Out, damned spot; out, I say; One, two – why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (5.1 27-34). Even the doctor says that Lady Macbeth is not sick but has visions and that she must cure herself. “No so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies That keep her from rest.” (5.3 39-41). Later on in Act 5.5, we hear Lady Macbeth cry out and then that she has died. Macbeth say, “She would certainly have died someday; she should have died at another, more peaceful time”. He is saying that he knew she was going to die eventually, but he would rather have her died when he wasn’t going to war with England. At first we see Lady Macbeth’s thirst for power rise while her husband just sits back and watch. However as the play progresses, Macbeth gets the thirst for hunger and Lady Macbeth takes the back seat. The only thing that they have in common is the visions that they get. Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, while Lady Macbeth sees Duncan’s blood on her hands that she can’t seem to wash away. Throughout this play, it doesn’t seem like Macbeth loves his wife or that Lady Macbeth loves her husband. The only thing on their mind is power, but in the end it turns out that everything they tried to earn has gone down the drain. Lady Macbeth is killed because of her delusions and Macbeth is killed because he went to war with England.
While Lady Macbeth is in the process of dying, Macbeth is preparing for the war against England. When talking to the doctor about Lady Macbeth’s condition, he just asks him to find some solution to cure her, but he doesn’t go and tend to her needs and help her. However, Lady Macbeth wasn’t helpful towards Macbeth either because when he was having his visions she just played it off has a childhood problem so that their guest wouldn’t get suspicious and wouldn’t stop supporting him. I believe that they both got what they deserved when they were seeing things. If Macbeth didn’t take it into his own hands to fulfill the prophecy, then he wouldn’t need to kill Duncan and then eventually have himself killed. 

4 thoughts on “Lady Macbeth

  1. faithkinne

    I really liked your comment "At first we see Lady Macbeth’s thirst for power rise while her husband just sits back and watch. However as the play progresses, Macbeth gets the thirst for hunger and Lady Macbeth takes the back seat." I definitely agree. Lady Macbeth was the one to insist on the first of many murders/attempted murders. It did not take long for Macbeth to be influenced by her desire to gain more power. In the first act, I really thought the play would revolve around how relentless Lady Macbeth was and how loyal and caring Macbeth was. I was clearly wrong. However, I do think both of their nightmares and visions express that they are feeling very guilty about all the horrible things they have done.

  2. Jacey Lawler

    I enjoyed reading your post, as I also found this role reversal between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth fascinating. It was rather unexpected when Lady Macbeth began to suffer with her guilt. This dramatically altered my opinion of her entire character. I like how you mentioned that you did not think Lady Macbeth and Macbeth actually loved each other. While reading, I tried in vain to find support for any signs of romantic love between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. I think the absence of this romance makes these characters all the more pitiful to the 21st century readership.

  3. Megan Kalmes

    I found your post to be very interesting. I also noticed the lack of a relationship between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. It seemed as if the only time that they showed any amount of emotion was when either of them would discuss their want for power. I thought this was illustrated especially when looking at Macbeth’s reaction to his wife’s death. It does not seem as if he is very much affected by her death at all. The relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth only further emphasizes both of their obsessions for power and their disregard for others in the process.

  4. Cyrus Mulready

    One thing your post makes me think, Malissa, is about the different expectations we bring to the representation of a marriage in our world. We expect a husband and wife to be in love (at least most of the time!). The glue that brings Lady Macbeth and her husband together, as you point out, is power–but that might not be so different from other marriages (especially of people in the upper class) during Shakespeare's time. I wonder how it changes the play if we see their relationship in terms of love or sexual attraction.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s